The scarcely believable story of the Brindabella Blues 2022 Capital Premier League season wrote another successful chapter at the Riverside Stadium as Ray Junna’s young charges upset the apple-cart once more, sending Queanbeyan City packing from an enthralling Preliminary Final to set up a Grand Final showdown with Southside rivals Tuggeranong United.
An epic contest was finally decided by a penalty shoot out as Jayden Deighan-Smith kept his nerve to crash home the winning spot-kick, hammering a confident effort high into the top corner of the net to send the travelling Blues support into raptures.
The strike completed another incredible afternoon in the story of a 2022 campaign of redemption for Brindabella, a club that was propping up the entire division twelve months ago, seemingly devoid of confidence and needing a reboot. The difference, a little over a year later, is marked.
The Blues were second favourites in this one, how could they not be against a Queanbeyan City side that had finished second in the league and possessed a strong, experienced group of players against a team of callow youths, many of whom were experiencing finals football at this level for the first time.
And yet it was Brindabella who were in front just past the half-hour. Jordan Host rapping home a free-kick from right on the edge of the penalty area, the ball nicking off the wall before nestling into the top corner of Queanbeyan City ‘keeper Mahmoud Halawani’s left-hand upright.
Michael Mensah, City’s handful of a centre-forward, went close to an equaliser with an overhead kick and was later sent off, the officials adjudging his actions off the ball sufficient for a red card.
Jamie Ward may have sealed it for Brindabella only for Halawani to make a superb point-blank save after an incisive Blues break, that set the scene for the last minute drama. City awarded a penalty after handball in the box and, six minutes into time added on, Queanbeyan substitute Vasko Petrovski kept his cool to score from the spot and send the game into extra time.
We had the incongruous sight of reserve Blues goalkeeper Sebastian Schob-Wyss deployed as an auxiliary striker when Brindabella ran out of outfield substitutes and Ryan Gulevski blazing over from inside the six-yard box with the goal at his mercy following a Rhys Flissinger save of a Marco Savkovic drive.
This set -up the shoot-out to decide the Grand Finalist and, after Flissinger had stepped up first to score, Hussein Fureje saw his shot cannon back off the post opening the door for Deighan-Smith to seal progress. It was that kind of madcap afternoon.
Sunday 25 September 2022
Queanbeyan City 1 (Petrovski 90+6’ (p)) Brindabella Blues 1 (Host 32’) – after extra time, Brindabella win 4-3 on penalties